Detect This: Interactive Show Offers Opportunity for Crime-Solving

Been binging on true-crime shows during the pandemic? Made your way through every season of every version of Law & Order? Have you been an armchair detective since your Nancy Drew days?

There might just be an event for you.

AT&T Performing Arts Center will present Art Heist, an interactive show that allows attendees to solve a ripped-from-the-walls, real-life master robbery of 13 works of art, valued at half a billion dollars.

Based on a true story of the world’s biggest art caper, Art Heist is a true crime walking show where socially distanced groups of 10 will move through five walkable locations to gather clues. The amateur gumshoes interact with a wild group of wily career criminals, slimy con men, rumpled art recovery specialists, a possible inside man, a gentle psychopath, and the larger-than-life but definitely real self-proclaimed Greatest Art Thief of All Time.

The story is based on the biggest art heist in history and took place on March 18, 1990, when two thieves disguised as police officers entered Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the middle of the night, telling guards they were investigating a disturbance. Valued at half a billion dollars, 13 works of art, including paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Manet were stolen. The $500 million pieces as well as the robbers remain at large today. 

Actors, through conversation, will reveal clues to the detective audience but then again, a red herring or two might present itself. Sharp sleuths will guess who the liars are and ultimately solve the enigma. No two performances will ever be the same as the actors improvise with every interaction.

“In these times, we’re looking to create new opportunities, not only for audiences to enjoy theatre experiences, but also for the actors and crew members out there who have found themselves out of work. It’s been a very tough time for our industry and Right Angle is reimagining and repurposing live entertainment to fit today’s reality,” said Justin Sudds who, along with Alison Spiriti, is producing.

Art Heist was conceived as a form of theatre that can work while respecting all COVID-19 safety protocols. Produced by Right Angle Entertainment, this unique show was created by Justin Sudds and written/directed by TJ Dawe and Ming Hudson.

“COVID-19 has changed the game for everyone in the arts,” said Dawe. “Many of the elements we took for granted are gone, or at least on hold for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, there’s nothing like a career as a freelancing artist working in new theatre to cultivate adaptability and openness to innovation. With that mentality, every project is a unique challenge already.”

The show premiers March 30 at the AT&T Performing Arts Center campus and runs through April 18. Tickets are $44 or $49 and are on sale at

Groups of 10 or more will be staggered at various start times. Weekday performances are every half hour from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m., and weekend performances are every half hour from noon until 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.

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